© Pikes Peak Marathon
Written by ~ Pikes Peak Marathon & Ascent Runners
Since 1956, runners of Pikes Peak Marathon & Ascent have been taking on the challenges of conquering America's Mountain. We have compiled many stories from the experiences and memories of our past runners. We hope you enjoy these stories from some of our Pikes Peak Pioneers.
What did it feel like to run up Pikes Peak for the very first time and what year was that?
My first Pikes Peak was in 1984 and I remember being very inspired by the mountain experience. Looking up at the summit from A Frame was overwhelming, and topping out on Pikes Peak was very emotional for me.
What is your favorite memory of the Pikes Peak Ascent and/or Marathon?
My most unforgettable memory is definitely the 2008 Blizzard Ascent and I always love the fans at the finishes.
What keeps you returning year after year?
I just can't get enough of the mountain. Living in the region, Pikes Peak is always calling me back.
How has the Pikes Peak Marathon/Ascent shaped you into the runner you are today?
The Pikes Peak races have given me confidence in myself to meet difficult challenges. I have also learned to respect my training.
Do you feel like a pioneer of trail/mountain running?
Not really... I am thankful that I was on the front edge of the trail running discipline though.
441 Manitou Ave, Suite 100
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
In 1972 Peter Strudwick did the Ascent in 4:20:29 and the Marathon in 7:02:28. What is so incredible about that you ask? Well, soon after his mother had caught rubella, commonly called German measles, Peter was born with legs that ended in stumps just past the ankles, a left arm that had only one thumb and a finger, and a right arm ending at the wrist.
When Zebulon Pike tried to ascend the mountain that would later be named after him he was turned back by the harsh weather. Many claim he said that no one would ever reach its summit. However, it is generally accepted that he meant on that day, under those conditions. The snow was waist deep and his men were not dressed for it and were out of food.
“Militant tobacco-hating physician” Dr. Arne Suominen from Delray Beach FL, became the founder of the modern day Pikes Peak races when he wrote a letter to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce in 1956 and challenged cigarette smokers to race him up and down Pikes Peak. 1956 Results